Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Sad Day

Break out the Kleenex! This is truly the end of an era.....

I was recently informed that Plueger Has stopped making the Purist line of fly rods....


So much for being Mr. Current Events.

Due to my propensity to break fly rods with aplomb, the Purist line was one of the best fly rod deals for me.....$37.00 for a quality 8 weight delivered to my doorstep from W-flies....plus I really like the way that they perform.... where will I find an affordable replacement the next time my backcast snags a mangrove branch and I shatter my last Purist into a million pieces?

At least Pflueger hasn't stopped making the Trion line of fly reels yet. I use a 1978 and 1912 respectively and am happy to report that these are virtually bullet proof with solid construction and smooth drag that won't burn up with a fast tarpon or bonefish. I'm really surprised that more saltwater guys don't use these fine reels.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

World Angling

Here's a nice little ditty for your Sunday morning. I LOVE the flat calm conditions shown here. It's not only beautiful, but very relaxing to fish in. I know that a lot of folks hate fishing in flat water because it's easier for the fish to see you, but this guy loves it.

I didn't know that the guy from The Hangover fly fishes for tarpon.....

If you're like me and want to see who the World Angling guys are, check this out...I just need to know if they've got an extra couch for me to sleep on....hell with the couch, I just need a corner for me and my Thermarest.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Inane Randomness

Tomorrow night, there is a showing of the movie Jaws at The Capitol Theater in downtown Clearwater. I DID see it in the theater in 1978 when it was re-released, but this will be cool. My brother has never seen it in the theater.

It's weird, because I'm currently reading a book about the 1916 New Jersey shark attacks in which the book Jaws by Peter Benchely was loosely based. I've always been intrigued by sharks and shark behavior. It's amazing to me that there is still a bit of debate and speculation about whether or not the shark was a Bull Shark or Great White. I'm currently on the Bull Shark side as I've never heard of a case where a Great White has swam up a river or creek. This of course is normal behavior for Bull Sharks....I LOVE history.

The rain has really dirtied up the water clarity around here and all of my scouting trips have been cancelled due to bad weather. Might do one big scouting trip on Friday...but I'm not sure yet.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Behind The Fly Rod

I had the honor of doing an Angler Spotlight piece for Yakangler.com this week. Don't mind the first photo though as I look like I'm sinking my kayak. After mentioning this to the photographer, my brother, he commented that he thought he was shooting it for "cakeangler.com"...guess admitting that you have a problem is the hardest part....

Oh, and the article can be read here

The rain for the last three days has pretty much ruined my scouting missions for the week. Three days of constant rain? Really? The last time I can remember that happening was in 2004 when the weekly hurricanes would roll through. So lack of scouting missions and I'm guessing, super murky water and short tides might make it one big scouting mission this weekend....was going to target snook on the dock lights, but not sure now.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Shrimp Burgers

A bit of Southern Fried Goodness for your Monday. Preseason football.

Beer Battered Shrimp
Sourdough hamburger buns
Cocktail sauce on the side
Bread and butter pickle chips

Serve with a light wheat ale.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Daylight Dies

I arrived at the put in spot at 7PM. The conditions were ideal: Sun low in the sky, the tide was just starting to come in, a light breeze tickling the waters surface. The water temperature felt like bath water and was just ticking 91 degrees.

The plan was to head back to our favorite redfish spot and fish the oyster bar that backs up onto a lush grass flat. Keith was working the drop off along the channel and I was opposite him working the shoreline on the way back to the oyster bar. There was fishy action going on all around us with finger mullet scattering, fish wakes chasing, and birds wading and diving. The area was ALIVE! Perfect conditions....but...the problem was, someone forgot to tell the redfish to show up.

We worked the area and the entire water column with a myriad of flies, soft plastics, and Mirr-o-lures. Nothing. Not even a chase or a tap. When you see about 100 finger mullet scattering and spraying into the air, that usually means a bigger fish is chasing them. Casting past this spot and working the lure with the tide SHOULD trigger a hook-up, right? But once again, the fish haven't read the latest issue of Florida Sportsman.

After an hour and a half, we decided to target some docks with lights to see if we might be able to find some snook.

"Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light" (Who would've ever thought I'd resort to using an Eagles lyric?) There was an eerie green glow next to the seawall. The shade of green that you might see in a sci-fi film...around the same shade of green as my kayak. As we paddled closer, I could make out baitfish darting and large shadows chasing. It looked like some sort of sci-fi aquarium.


We started casting. Nothing. Changed lures. Nothing. Changed lures. Nothing. What would Captain Kirk do? "Captains log....suplemental....we've discovered an eerie.... green.... light with fish feeding around it....yet.....we can't seem to....catch any.... fish Mister!" (Wow...a Star Trek reference? Really?)

After 30 minutes of this, we decided to try another dock. This time, with a light that pointed downward. First cast, BAM! 22 inch trout! Keith got the hook-up on it's twin a few moments later. After about 4 fish each, all between 18 and 22 inches, and FAT, the action quieted. I made around 6 casts without a fish.

Time to move.

Over the next 2 hours, this cycle repeated itself over and over. Cast, catch, release. Cast, catch release. Cast, catch, release. Cast.....cast.....on to the next dock.

I think the reason that the first light didn't produce was because the light was projected upwards, giving the fish a better view of it's prey. Any other time, it's the opposite, with the light projecting down. All they can see is the profile silhouetted against the surface.

We eventually got tired and headed back in...today, my wrists are sore from horsing so many large trout out from under the docks. The bigger trout put up a harder fight for sure.....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Inane Randomness

This weeks Inane Randomness!!!!!

My fishing buddy Keith loves gear. He has loads of kayak fishing "stuff" that he drags out like outriggers, a leaning post so he can stand up and fish, a poling platform, a portable A/C unit, and a flag/light rig. Actually, it's not THAT much stuff, just less than the amount of stuff I drag out. Even though I'm TOTALLY the opposite, it gives me a good reason to give him a good natured ribbing from time to time. Yesterday, I found this which is actually pretty cool because there is no drilling involved. The mount just fits in your flush mount rod holders. Not a bad deal for the money either. This is not really something that I'm looking for, although it WOULD come in handy on the long paddle back to the put in spot....

Don't forget to listen to Kayak Fishing Radio this Thursday at 8 pm Eastern. If you can't listen or call in, listen to the podcast later.

Saw this story about a Great White Shark biting a kayak of the coast of Northern California. This guy is lucky that he only got a few holes in his kayak.

Of course my sick and twisted mind was trying to determine if I was in that situation, what sort of fly would I toss at a Great White Shark? Am I alone in thinking this way?

Here is a video one of my friends from California sent me...White Sharks among the surfers....

Night Ops 2

I have the plan worked out for another night trip this week. The tide is forecast to be low at 6:00pm, sunset is at 8:15pm with high tide at midnight. The lights are rigged and ready to go.

I like fishing at night. It's easier that getting up at the crack of dawn, the boat traffic is almost nonexistent, and the fish become a bit more active since the water is a bit cooler.

The question is this: should I fish where I've recently seen the finger mullet along a ditch that cuts through a shallow sand flat and cast finger mullet flies for snook? Or should I fish the oyster bar that separates the channel from the shallow grass with crab flies for redfish?


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Photo Essay - 8/15

The gathering storm.

Enough napping Keith...that's why you didn't catch anything.

Sand Key Bridge

Like Forrest Gump would say...."There's muh boat"...

Juvie grouper. Not sure if it's a Gag or a Black. Note the blue hued anal fins. Was a surprise being in such shallow water.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Hatch

One of the best features on my kayak are the 3 middle hatches that make up the casting deck.

The middle hatch gives me the ability to have everything I need close at hand. This middle hatch can also be used as a livewell for live bait (Although I can't remember the last time I used bait)

As you know, I approach my gear with a basic school of thought. I only carry a medium fly box, a water tight box for my phone, keys, and camera, a GPS, a few soft plastic jerk bait bags, a box for hooks, swivels, and weights, a multi-tool, and a pair of scissors.

This basic approach allows me to worry about less stuff and be able to concentrate on finding fish.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Inane Randomness

I'm still bummed that I missed out on Lamb of God and Shadows Fall yesterday at Mayhem Fest, You'll have that when you're spending all your time fishing I guess....

The Tampa Bay Rays have lost 5 in a row and their team batting average is in the .100's but they're still only 1 game back from the division lead.

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Director of Operations, and personal favorite fly fishing ninja and author, Dr. Aaron Adams, was interviewed by online fishing blog GoFISHn about the current state of the tarpon fishery. More importantly, the interview lists precautions that all anglers can take to reduce harm to tarpon while practicing catch and release.

Don't forget to listen to Kayak Fishing Radio tomorrow night (Thursday) at 8pm Eastern for all the goodness related to kayak fishing. I may or may not be a guest on tomorrows show due to a previous engagement, but one never knows. You know how people can be.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Night Shift

Last night, Keith and I did a night trip. Arriving to the beach at around 7pm, we had excellent conditions. With an incoming tide, light breeze and sunset at 8:30, we hit the grass flat along the drop-off with no fish but a lot of diving bird action.

I set up a lighting rig with battery powered camping lanterns inside large, clear,water tight food storage containers fore and aft. Worked like a charm until the batteries died after 3 hours use. Keith said he could see me a long ways off.

Keith caught a small trout along the weed line, then we paddled over to the bridge. There was bait everywhere...glass minnows, needlefish, and majorra. I hooked up with a 15 inch trout on a shrimp pattern, but switched to a white baitfish pattern when I observed snook blasting bait on the surface.

I changed to a topwater, crease fly pattern which drew a few misses. I tried working it fast, slow, painstakingly SLOW to no avail.

Keith caught another trout, but we couldn't seem to entice any of the snook to take our offerings. I think they would have turned their noses up at live bait.

We worked the rock jetty, nothing....the bridge pilings...nothing....all the while watching and listening to "SLUR-POP!" happening all around us.

We headed in at about 1:00 am on a falling tide with a lot of activity still happening. Night fishing is great because the heat isn't as intense, the fish are out, and there is no boat traffic to speak of.

We'll be doing more of this night fishing to be sure!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kayak Fishing Radio

You can hear yours truly on Kayak Fishing Radio Thursday nights at 8pm Eastern talking about whats happening in the world of kayak fishing. It's a call in show, so listen, and call in with questions or report what you've been catching!

Chip Gibson is your host and is a wealth of information in regards to all aspects of kayak fishing.

There's also a chatroom if you don't feel like calling in.

I think this is a great thing that is sure to get bigger with time.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shot In The Dark

Friday night, I'll be heading to an undisclosed location to see what sort of fish I can find on an incoming tide after dark.

Of course, after dark means making a few special, handy-dandy modifications to allow for night time kayak fishing - not only to keep from being sunk by some idiot blazing through at top speed, but to keep from being cited for having or not having an illegal vessel.

I had a hard time finding the information needed, so I posed the question to kayak fishing guru and "Google Masta" Mark Watanabe from yakangler.com

Of course he found the information for me (let me Google that for you)and here is what he found:

"Where do Kayaks and Canoes fit into the Navigation Rules? Neither the International nor Inland Navigation Rules address "kayaks" or "canoes" per se, except in regards to "vessels under oars" in Rule 25 regarding lights. One could infer that a "vessel under oars" should be treated as a "sailing vessel" since it is permitted to display the same lights as one, but, ultimately the issue of whom "gives way" would fall to what would be "required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case"


(a) A sailing vessel underway shall exhibit:

1. sidelights;
2. a sternlight.

(b) In a sailing vessel of less than 20 meters in length the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule may be combined in one lantern carried at or near the top of the mast where it can best be seen.

(c) A sailing vessel underway may, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit at or near the top of the mast, where they can best be seen, two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower Green, but these lights shall not be exhibited in conjunction with the combined lantern permitted by paragraph (b) of this Rule.


1. A sailing vessel of less than 7 meters in length shall, if practicable, exhibit the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) or (b) of this Rule, but if she does not, she shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.
2. A vessel under oars may exhibit the lights prescribed in this rule for sailing vessels, but if she does not, she shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

(e) A vessel proceeding under sail when also being propelled by machinery shall exhibit forward where it can best be seen a conical shape, apex downwards. A vessel of less than 12 meters in length is not required to exhibit this shape, but may do so. "

I've got a few battery powered camping lanterns with clear waterproof cases that will come in handy for this....

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Return Of 2 O' Clock Charlie

2 O' Clock Charlie made another appearance yesterday...this time right off the west end of Dunedin Causeway.

I arrived at the causeway late, as usual. I could see Keith paddling about 300 yards offshore as I unloaded the kayak and got ready to go. When I looked up again, I could see his kayak but not Keith. I wondered to myself if he just took a swim or something.

He paddled in a little while later to tell me the chilling tale of a run in with 2 O'clock Charlie. Towed him around for a few minutes but dumped his kayak when it quickly changed direction.

Local anglers are taking no chances, often packing dynamite and depth charges on their fishing boats.

In a statement issued by an anonymous government source, residents are urged to use caution - "We don't think it's a shark but, but bathers should use caution...as always."